Valentin de Boulogne 1591 – 1632

Christ and the Adulteress

oil on canvas (168 × 220 cm) — c. 1625 Museum J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Valentin de Boulogne biography

This work is linked to John 8:7

Tags: Adulteress

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Jewish scribes and Pharisees bring an adultress before Jesus, who was busy teaching his group. The scribes want to embarrass him: if he adheres to the law, the woman would have to be stoned; if he sticks to his own principles, he would be breaking the law.

At first Christ ignores them and starts writing on the ground with his finger. When they insist, he comes up with a famous answer: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." One by one the accusers leave the scene.

Most of the light falls on the woman's shoulder and neck and on Christ's face and arm. Behind him, men with furrowed faces try to read what he's writing.

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